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Hello,

I returned to my computer yesterday and went to open my Outlook 2003. It will not open and run as usual.

I receive this message:

The data file 'Personal Folders' was not closed properly. This file is being checked for problems.

The it starts checking the file(s) says may take a few minutes; quickly goes to 60 seconds then 55 seconds then 5 seconds remaining. At 5 seconds remaining it hangs up and makes my entire computer freeze up!

The only way for me to unfreeze the computer is to shut it off manually by pressing the power button.

I've done some Google searches and tried a few solutions with no positive response. I have since changed the OUTCMD.DAT file name and tried again... No luck!

Can anyone here provide me with a solution? I so NEED to get into my Outlook 2003 to check e mail and have access to the e mails within that program!

Thanking you in advance for your help/cooperation!
Blog Dog

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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  • Did your PST file reach the 2GB limit? If it did, SCANPST.EXE might save what it can, but some will be lost. Read up on SCANPST carefully as it sometimes doesn't produce the expected result (not so in my case, I'm happy to say). Outlook 2007 lets you set up … Read More

  • I have researched your issue and found a tool that will do its best to retrieve what it can from the corrupted pst file. If you did go over your 2 gig limit (which is what it sounds like from what you described and what I just read) than this … Read More

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Did your PST file reach the 2GB limit? If it did, SCANPST.EXE might save what it can, but some will be lost. Read up on SCANPST carefully as it sometimes doesn't produce the expected result (not so in my case, I'm happy to say).

Outlook 2007 lets you set up a 20GB PST space, btw. I hoe that 2GB issue is what happened to you because it's well understood.

In the meantime, can you not get e-mails via some form of web-mail? Like with MSN & Hotmail?

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very helpful
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I am not finding any success with the above...

I thought I was more computer literate then I guess I am. I read a few things on the web but have not been able to compress the file...

Might you be able to point me in the right direction as for instructions?

Thank you!!!

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In Windows Explorer search for *.pst.

If such a file is found (which it ought to be) and it is 2GB size, then that's your problem.

Another possibility is that yoou've got one or more add-ins associated with Outlook and one of them was actively working when you thought you had closed Outlook and then switched off the PC. That would corrupt the PST file.

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Not sure what it is...

I do have an iPhone that ever since I've started using it I have been having trouble with my Outlook calendar. I have also been having to ctrl alt del and then shut Outlook down manually for some time. Otherwise I will not receive e mails to my phone because it is running in the background on my home computer. I've been doing this for nearly a year, maybe longer, never a problem until now.

I will be VERY happy to send someone that can "walk me through this" and resolve the problem a $20.00 Amazon gift certificate!

I am at the end of my rope and hope I am not doing more damage then help with the things I am trying!

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I have researched your issue and found a tool that will do its best to retrieve what it can from the corrupted pst file. If you did go over your 2 gig limit (which is what it sounds like from what you described and what I just read) than this program is your only hope and than after running this you mayhave to run another repair program which I will post after you post how this works for you http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=B33B1DFF-6F50-411D-BBDF-82019DDA602E&displaylang=en&displaylang=en

You can also use this tool that microsoft made to try to recover your info here is the link to download it http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=B33B1DFF-6F50-411D-BBDF-82019DDA602E&displaylang=en oh and here is the microsoft guide for this issue which has step by step instructionshttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/296088 I really hope this helps you! Please use my advice at your own risk! I am not liable for anything that may happen from the links or info I have provided.

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very helpful
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......I will be VERY happy to send someone that can "walk me through this" and resolve the problem a $20.00 Amazon gift certificate! .....QUOTE]

You can keep your $20 certificate - we do this for free 'cos one day it'll be my turn to need help.

But, you're ignoring what you've been recommended to do. There's nothing simpler than using Windows Explorer and via the Search menu item, supply te detail *.pst.

Then Windows will find the PST file(s) and report the size which you can then tell us. We can proceed from there.

So, please get on with it!

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Hello and thank you all,

I apologize I have not been home to try the above solutions. I will try them now (very soon) and report back the results!

Let's hope this works!

Thanks again!

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I've attached a screen shot of the files that are in my Outlook folder.

The top file named "oldone" is a dat file that I renamed. It was originally "outcmd.dat" I believe.


Thought you may find this helpful before I try the suggestions above.

Thanks,
BD

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I wouldn't be changing .dat files the PST is what matters (I know that was already said) but I really want to enforce not to play around with the .dat files since the pst is the true problem. And yeah we do this for free we are just geeks who like to help each other cause we don't know everything (who does?) and we need help sometimes to. This is just a free help area by IT who are usually real friendly.

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Hello,

I did a search of pst on my hard drive and did not find any files of that type. Please see attached and the second screen shot.

Maybe this is my problem?

Should I create a pst file? If yes, what should I name it and where should I put it?

This has made me remember that recently when I started Outlook it did ask if I wanted to compress to free up space. Sounded like a simple suggestion and I always clicked no. Had I known there was a 2G limit I would have clicked to compress!

If there is a way you would like me to sort the search results and send another screen shot I will be happy to if you think it would be helpful to see...

THANKS!
BD

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Do not create a PST file what you need to do is go to search and type in *.pst that will show all the PST files on your computer. Then use the advice given above at your own discression.

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I have done that and no pst files are found.

pst is a file type, yes?

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Attached is a screen shot of the results from *.pst search results.

Unfortunately before when I searched I only typed in pst and omitted the star and dot.

Three files were found, none are named pst and they are all office data files. Are one of these what I am looking for?

Again, I thank you for your patience and help!

BD

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just a guess so take the following with a grain of salt but the file named out look thats over 800,000 kilobytes probably is the file. just go to the link that I keep posting the microsoft support page they lead you through step by step on how to fix this issue.

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Use my suggestions at your own risk! I can't think of what to do so I would save the file somewhere like another drive or something and delete outlook and reinstall it and then put the file back in the exact area. I have no clue if this will work or cause any problems it is just one of my crazy ideas so use it at your own discression and I am not liable for anything that may happen.

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Of course, I would never hold you or anyone on here liable; I am just trying to find a solution. I guess you write that because in today's litigious society it's necessary.

I may try your last suggestion tomorrow morning when I have a little more energy and patience.

Thanks again!

If you or someone else may have a suggestion please post and I will check first thing in the morning.

THANK YOU ALL!
BD

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Hello,

I returned to my computer yesterday and went to open my Outlook 2003. It will not open and run as usual.

I receive this message:

The data file 'Personal Folders' was not closed properly. This file is being checked for problems.

The it starts checking the file(s) says may take a few minutes; quickly goes to 60 seconds then 55 seconds then 5 seconds remaining. At 5 seconds remaining it hangs up and makes my entire computer freeze up!

The only way for me to unfreeze the computer is to shut it off manually by pressing the power button.
You could try using CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up Task Manager; then kill Outlook in the Applications tab. If this works then you don't need to re-boot.

I've done some Google searches and tried a few solutions with no positive response. I have since changed the OUTCMD.DAT file name and tried again... No luck!

Can anyone here provide me with a solution? I so NEED to get into my Outlook 2003 to check e mail and have access to the e mails within that program!

Thanking you in advance for your help/cooperation!
Blog Dog

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

OK - so its back to square 1. Your PST file is within permitted bounds for Outlook 2003. I've added a comment to your original post to try and help out with some of the side issues.

Have you run SCANPST.EXE? There is aklso SCANOST.EXE which will try to repair the PST and OST files.

Do you have any Add-ins associated with Outlook? Like McAfee or Acrobat or WinZip?

Have you used the Detect & Repair menu item in Help?

If none of the above work, you're faced with having to set up your user account again after removing the current profile using Control Panel MAIL (with Outlook not loaded). You would lose whatever was already in your PST file (i.e. all past messages received but not archived into Personal Folders or not resident on yiour hiost server).

If you had left your messages on the originating server (such as hotmail or msn) then when you recreate your profile, these messages will be reloaded and you've lost nothing.

Stay in touch.

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Hello,

Once I attempt to open the outlook it freezes up at the 5 seconds left message. At this point I cannot do anything (ctrl alt del) my only option is to press the power button until the computer turns off then turn back on.

I have tried scanpst.exe and scanost.exe. Scanpst.exe makes my computer lock up again. Scanost.exe give me a message that offline sync is not supported. I've attached a screen shot of these messages for review.

About two reboots ago I did receive a message asking if I would like to free up space in my outlook. It said it may take several minutes. When I clicked yes it seemed to only take a split second. I've noticed the file size of that large file, earlier mentioned, is now much smaller. I hoped the problem was resolved and tried to open outlook once agian but no success.

If I copy these files onto an external hard drive then uninstall outlook and reinstall it might I be able to access the old mail from the file on the external drive?

I do have McAfee and Adobe on my computer. I have disabled McAfee from "live e mail protection" and other things I think that may cause issues with outlook. I don't believe Adobe is hanging up my system but it may be, I don't know how to check if it is. The iPhone could be the cause but I have had it for a year +/- a month. There was a problem with the iPhone and the outlook calendar long ago (something to do with recurring events; I had to delete them out of my outlook calendar).

Is my best solution at this point to call into Dell and/or Microsoft and spend the money on the tech support?

As always, thank you for your time and help!
BD

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If your messages (the OST messages) are on the server (your mail host), then you're OK to set it all up again.

You didn't mention who your mail host was; if it's hotmail (or other HTTP based services), you can get in via IE and if your mailbox populates, your mails are safe.

The PST file has your personal folders and you can associate it with a newly established account - but you might end up with the same problem.

Paid for help is up to you. When you're exhausted here that is an option. But I would never resort to that and I would start again. Do make sure that McAfee keeps monitoring your mails. I have Adobe associated as an add-in with no problems. I-phone? Search the forums for bad news stories; I have no idea what you'll find.

Your next step is to try Web-mail if you can.

Best of luck.

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I agree with Suspishio, and indeed what everyone else has said. If all forms of repair haven't worked, a re-install is the next step, but then this is not guaranteed to fix the problem if your PST is corrupt.

If it is a POP3 account that you're trying to access (which means that all your mail has been downloaded to your computer in PST format) then a corrupt PST is very bad news.
If however your messages are stored on the server (could still be the case with a POP3 mailbox actually, depends on the setup) then by all means feel free to remove the PST (Office Data Files), and reinstall Outlook, and recreate a mail account. With the second scenario you can get all your mails back from the server.

Was going to suggest using a different email client such as Thunderbird, but that will only help if (to sound like a broken record) your mail is still kept on your mail server (hotmail, or yourdomain.com, or youremployer.com.

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I use comcast.net. I have checked my e mail a couple times via their website but there are no previous e mails there or the contact list or calendar. I am sure I set it up wrong initially about 5 or 6 years ago, in hindsight it would have been best to have it stored there so I can retrieve it from any computer.

I will continue to try and find a solution here for as long as I can and only if I am unable to resolve this problem I will call for paid tech support.

Thanks again!

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Yea if you can't view previous emails then it probably means all the email is saved on your computer alone. Bummer! It's a shame that SCANPST.EXE didn't work either.

Is it possible that there's some malware doing some damage in the background? Could be worth using Malwarebytes I think. Click here for instructions on how to use it and post back and let us know how it goes.

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That is possible. I had thought I had that Facebook virus a few weeks ago but nothing was found using malware detection software.

I've scanned my computer many times since and a few times in the past couple days with McAfee and PC Doctor (recommended by Consumer Reports). I've updated both with the most current versions and run the scan, full scan. Nothing as of yet.

Do you recommend I try the site you suggested even though I've used the above mentioned?

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I think that you should remove your PST file association with your mail account. The PST file won't be deleted anf if you're worried, make a backup to another part of your HDD.

You can do all thuis from your MAIL Icon in Control Panel with Outlook stopped.

If you restart Outlook, it might behave itself. We can then worry about your past e-mails in the PST file. If it doesn't work and the OST repair tool doesn't help, then I wouldn't waste money on external help.

If you do have to sacrifice your OST file and you re-establish your user from scratch, then maybe adding in the PST file will be error free. Then you've only lost what was "current". Either way you need to cut your losses - at least that's what I would do at this stage.

Then restart outlo

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FINALLY I am able to open my outlook! I am uncertain why or what I did to get it to work because I did a couple "new" things and then I tried and it worked!

Unfortunately none of my e mails are there from Dec 19th forward and the MOST important folder of all is missing!

Am I pushing my luck trying to extract or find is in the back up pst I saved on my external hard drive? Or is it best to leave good enough alone?

IF any of you think I may be able to recover the missing e mails and folder that would be GREAT! I certainly would LOVE to have them back because they are between myself and my attorney regarding and very important I have correspondence for a case coming soon. Yes, this is the one folder that is missing (that I've noticed so far) or course, right???

The past several months I have been e mailing my attorney and others about the coming case and I created a personal folder to keep them in. Perhaps it became too big or something I had in there was corrupted, not sure... Again, would LOVE to be able to retrieve it. If I cannot, so be it...

My calendar and contacts seem to be A OK.

Again, thank you all for your help and cooperation thus far!!!

I am happy to have it at least running and my contacts/calendar back!

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That's better news indeed. it would be nice to know what you did to get it going.

It depends when you made the PST backup. If it was durinf the trouble, then don't trust it.

If you did something repeatable to get it going (maybe we can help you to judge this), then it's worth making this backup your PST file by copying into the Outlook folder and renaming it approriately to anything.pst.

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